The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!
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06.28.2012 , 05:59 PM |
:Rite of Passage:
Introducing my Sith Warrior, Esiri Vae
The first time Esiri Vae kills someone, she is eight Standard years old; terrified, hovering over the injured body of her Human mother and screaming until her throat burns.
She stares up imploringly at the Imperial soldier, tears brimming her startling orange-gold eyes as his large blaster rifle focuses on her prone mother’s body. Her mother, lying weakly on the floor on her side, flinches away from the weapon.
Esiri crawls closer to her mom, reaching out to run her small fingers over the side of Lydia Vae’s face in an attempt to calm her. Almost instinctively her mother turns her face towards her daughter’s touch, pressing the side of her face deeper into the child’s small palm.
Sometimes at night when her mother appeared too weary to sleep, Esiri would crawl in beside her and hold her close. Her mother would then be able to fall asleep eventually if Esiri caressed her face- as if reassured her daughter was still with her.
Lydia turns her warm brown eyes to her daughter’s and gives her a shaky smile as if to say,
Don’t cry, Little Esi. Have no tears and be brave.
Esiri would take comfort in that, if not for a thin trickle of blood slipping from between her mother’s lips, making Esi’s chest churn wildly as if something dark and ugly is trying to get out. She would take comfort in her mother’s presence if the other Imperial Soldiers and the tall man in black were not crowding around them so threateningly in their own home.
Esi turns her gaze to them, narrowing her eyes in anger, hurt and confusion all rolled into one. Why must these strangers be so cruel to them?
Esiri has never done anything to these strangers- she and her mother are good people who mind their own business. They are simple farmers and keep to themselves whenever they find a new planet to call home. Sure they move around a lot; but that’s because Esiri’s skin is vibrant red and she can sometimes do things no one else she knows can.
Esi’s mom has never told the Youngling she’s the reason why they never stay in one place too long- but Esi is sometimes able to sense things that people like to keep quiet. She has noticed the looks others give her whenever they land at crowded starship ports, before her mother rushes her away to the promise of safe solitude and blessed seclusion.
Or the way fear and an aching sadness would cloud her mom’s face whenever Esiri tries to impress her with the strange tricks she can do; like moving objects without even
them, or sometimes even making the native animals do as she asks.
This time, they managed to stay almost a full year on this small, nearly isolated farming colony before everything went sour. A distant neighbor reported them to the authorities, and before Lydia could pack her and her daughter’s meager belongings to leave the planet, the Imperial military had come for them.
Now, her sweet mother is hurt, and the tall, scary man in black is speaking strange words about Esiri rightfully belonging to an Emperor and being taken to live at some old, ancient school that helps special children like her.
As if she will
choose to willingly leave her mom and go with these mean people.
She doesn’t understand really everything he is explaining- she is too busy cradling her mother’s head gently in her lap and running her fingers over and over her mother’s soft, satin skin to pay close attention. Lydia’s hair- the same silky inky black that Esiri has inherited -spills over onto the floor like a cascade, and Esi clamps her lips tightly close to hold back a sob.
Wishing with all her might that the Imperials would leave and she and her mom can be alone again, she tries to focus on the feel of her mom’s soothing skin against her fingers instead of the man’s cruel voice.
Her mother’s skin is rapidly turning clammy and cold under her touch.
It scares Esi, and she finds breathing is a little hard to do now, and her ears are becoming filled with a rushing sound in her panic.
No- her mother cannot leave her here! She’d be alone with these strangers, and they are so scary and mean.
“You only prolong the inevitable, child,” the tall man sneers, his voice cold as a slab of ice. His eyes are a blood-rimmed yellow despite him being a Human like her mom, and his fair skin flirts with the pale, sickly color of death itself.
Even from the distance between them, Esiri can feel there is something different about this man compared to the Imperial soldiers next to him, and even to her mother. There is a
about him that seems to fill up the room, even though she cannot see it, and the presence is heavy, dark and makes her skin crawl.
She flinches when he speaks, and he gives her a predatory smile as if knowing she can sense that strangeness about him and she is trying to shy away from it.
“You belong with us. It is time you put this behind you- the Emperor’s will is to never be questioned. Your mother was insane enough to try- if you wish to follow her example I assure you it will end the same. ” The man warns when he holds his hand out to Esi and she stubbornly shakes her head at him.
“I don’t care about some stinkin’ Emperor!” Esiri says boldly, even though inside she is quaking with fear and uncertainty. The man’s face darkens and something brushes against Esi’s neck like an invisible hand threatening to squeeze.
A whimper escapes the child’s throat, before she haunches in on herself and bends forward over her mother’s upper body. Her arms cradle her mother a little more tightly, as if to shield her mother’s prone form with her petite one.
Let them hurt her or take her away; after all they are here because she’s different and her skin is red- but her mother hasn’t done
! Her mother is the nicest person in the galaxy, and when she smiles Esi knows the day is going to be good.
Why won’t these strangers have goodness in them like her mom?
“Me and my mom didn’t do nothing to anyone! You go away from here and leave us alone!” Esi tries to make her words come out in a demand, but they only rush out of her throat in a desperate plea.
The man laughs, before waving his hand breezily at her. The Imperial Officer next to him takes it as some kind of sign, because he moves forward and reaches down to grab her mom’s shoulder harshly.
At Lydia’s weak cry, something deep and fierce inside Esiri explodes before the child knows what is happening. A powerful, invisible force tears the Imperial officer brutally away from her mother, sending him flying and crashing into the far wall.
He hits the wall so hard at an awkward angle that a loud snap fills the air, and when his body crumbles to the floor it doesn’t move again. The place where he hit the wall is cracked heavily from his body’s impact.
Esi stares, horror filling her eyes.
Did she… did she do that?
“Enough of this,” the man snarls, reaching forward to grip Esi’s hair like a vice.
With a savage yank, he pulls the little girl to her stumbling feet, and away from her dying mother. The movement causes Lydia’s head to fall onto the floor hard, and Esi sobs at the spike of pain that races down her neck and sparks in her skull at the man’s unforgivable grasp of her hair.
She reaches up to try and pull his fingers open and free her- he rewards her effort by pulling her head back and lowering his head close to her fear shrouded face.
“What you just did, child, is only a
of the power you will learn to control,” he sneers. Tears slip down Esi’s face freely, and he eyes them with contempt.
A moment later, a gleeful smile full of malice splits his lips and Esi fights the urge to wet herself at the sight. She never knew a smile could hold such evil.
“Consider this your right of passage into the Sith Order,” he tells her, moving forward to press his cold, hard lips softly against her cheek, mocking a kiss of affection.
Eyes shutting tight at the feel of his lips upon her skin, revulsion rolls Esi’s stomach and she is briefly glad her stomach is empty. Otherwise she might have lost her meal right then and there at the man’s feet.
He pulls back, and Esi opens and turns her eyes in the direction of her mother just in time to see one of the other Imperial Officer’s raise a vibroknife above her.
“N-no… please,” Esi begs, looking up at the man in black. He regards her with a look of bored indifference. “I’ll go with you- I’ll do whatever you want.
,” her voice is small and heavy with her tears.
They cannot do this. That’s her
“Just… let’s leave, okay?” Esi tries to bargain, lowering her hands and stepping closer to her captor. She glances at her mother, who is regarding her with impossibly kind eyes even as her execution draws closer, and tries to steel her resolve. She turns back to the man and reaches up to place her small hands on his cloaked arm, almost in a sign of surrendered acceptance.
Staring into his eyes, she tries to bargain for her mother’s life, even as the thought of leaving with these people make her knees weak and her heart ache heavily with fear.
“Let’s go right now- I’ll stay at this school and your Emperor will be happy. I won’t fight or anything and won’t try to run away. Right? Can we go now? P-please?”
The man stares slightly at her for a moment, a thoughtful look in his eyes.
Hope flares in Esi’s chest--
--only to quickly turn to black horror as he says coldly to the Officer, “Kill her.”
Esi turns, and even though her vision swims under the tears, it cannot erase the sight of a slash of sliver, so much blood and her mother’s brown eyes turning dark and cold with death.
A scream tears from Esi’s throat, and it feels as if she will be screaming forever.
I really don't know where this came from- I guess I have been having a pretty rough week so I wrote about a character having a rough day. I was getting extra hours at work because a co-worker ended up in the hospital... and then
ended up in the hospital!
Anyway... I'm feeling better now, so I hope you all (enjoy?) this little piece.
"Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend..."
"Only a life lived for others is a life worth living for..."